OCALA--The College of Central Florida baseball team hosted Palm Beach State College on opening day in what turned into a ninth-inning thriller.
CF was down 7-2 heading into the bottom of the ninth with their 6-7-8 hole hitters on deck. John Schneider came in for relief for Palm Beach and walked the first three Patriot batters.
Newcomer David Flores stepped to the plate with two outs and a delivered a grand slam over the left field wall to bring the Patriots to within one and a chance at sending it into extra innings. A batter later, Christian Smallwood delivers a solo shot to the same spot to send it into extras.
Ultimately, the Patriots couldn't hold on and fell to the Panthers 10-7 in ten innings.
Flores and Smallwood led the offensive charge for CF.
Flores went 2-for-4 with four RBI and two runs scored, while Smallwood went 3-for-5 with two runs scored and drove in one run.
On the mound, starter Nate Pearson went five innings, allowing three runs on four hits and struck out seven before giving way to the Patriot relievers.
CF will be back in action tomorrow when they host Indian River State College at noon.